Is TSA Pre✓ worth the money and hassle?

The transportation Security Administration procedures that came into effect after 9/11 have remained in place; however, those who fly regularly already have those shoes off, along with liquids disposed of and laptop computers out of their cases, before they reach the security checkpoint’s conveyor belt. 

Before 2011, it was available to some elite-level members of airline loyalty programes or through certain of the government’s trusted traveler programs, such as Global Entry, which allows expedeted re-entry after travel abroad. Pre-Check piggybacked onto that program, but is marginally cheaper ($85 for five years as opposed to $100 for Global Entry) and does not require that the applicant hold a passport.  

 Whаt'ѕ thе process to getting оnе?

Those who apply for Pre-Check directly must visit an enrollment center in person to provide valid identify documents and their fingerprints. If the application are approved,  they receive known Traveler Numbers (KTNs), which they then provide to provide to their airlines when booking air travel. Those travelers will typically enjoy the faster, shoes-on security line.  

The TSA is extending Pre-Check screening to random passenger on a flight-by-flight basis. When these passenger receive their boarding passes, a TSA Pre-Check logo appears, alerting passengers to their temporary status. This assessment is based on information the passengers already provide when booking their ticket, which the TSA says will be retained by the agency for no more than seven days. Children under 12 and adult over 75, it has been reported have a higher average chance of getting this sort of bonus Pre-Check. 

There are few other ways to end up in the Pre-Check line besides applying to be there. Certain airports are using “managed inclusion” to randomly assign passengers in line to the Pre-Check entry based on capacity. Some airline are also extending Pre-Check to some of their frequent fliers, though passengers who opt in this way are not cleared  for Pre-Check when they fly on other ailines. Members of the military are also eligible for for Pre-Check without undergoing the normal application process.  

With all these potential entries into the line, some of those who paid for Pre-Check status complain the advantages in speed are often lost. Other critics of the program have expressed concern that pulling random people for Pre-Check introduces a higher element of risk to the procedure, while still others worry about the privacy of those who apply, considering that TSA has exempted itself from revealing which agencies are asked to review an applicant’s information.  

 Pre-Check is a sensible approach to making air travel easier for at least some passengers especially the ones who fly most often- and faster for almost everyone, Pre-Check customers are still subject to a security check, albeit less intrusive than usual; other passengers benefit because the low-risk Pre-Check customers do not add to the length of the standard screening queue.

Is it worth thе mоnеу? 

Yes and no, it's an  inconvenience for occasional travelers, except maybe those with extremely limited patience. Genuine road warriors, especially those whose home airport offers the service, will probably appreciate Pre-Check, even if they must pay for the priviledge. It’s nice to head to the airport without having to carefully consider your choice of footwear.

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